Tue | Aug 21, 2018

Brilliant Taylor - Calabar standout smashes national 400m junior record

Published:Monday | June 25, 2018 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
Christopher Taylor (right) getting the better of Rasheed McDonald (left) heading into the straight during semifinals 2 of the men’s 400 meters of the JAAA?SVL National Seniors and Juniors Trials 2018 at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Schoolboy Christopher Taylor upstaged his more senior athletes by taking home the Men's 400m title in 44.86 seconds, on the final day of the JAAA Supreme Ventures Limited National Junior and Senior Championships at the National Stadium yesterday.

Taylor ran a personal best and a National Junior record as he dipped under 45 seconds for the first time in his career, erasing Akeem Bloomfield's National Junior record of 44.93 seconds.

Taylor, who decided to compete in the one lap event among the seniors, instead of the Junior 200m, where he is the world leader, had stated a few weeks ago that his aim was to go sub 45 seconds and also to break the National Junior record. He did not disappoint. Drawn in lane five, ahead of Sprintec Track Club's Demish Gaye, in lane four, Taylor took Gaye out of his comfort zone quite early with his blistering early speed. Gaye was second in 45.23 seconds, with Fitzroy Dunkley finishing third in 45.77 seconds. Javon Francis, who had a knee injury after his semi-final run, did not show up for the final.

"My aim coming to the Championships, competing against the Seniors, was to break the National Junior record and getting a sub 45 seconds. I achieved both and I am very happy," said Taylor minutes after his excellent run.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Stephenie Ann McPherson was crowned female champion in the one lap event after an easy win in 50.74 seconds, as Christine Day, 51.41, and Anastasia Leroy, 52.00 seconds, finished second and third respectively.

MVP Track Club's Shericka Jackson and Louisiana State University's Jahnoy Thompson were impressive in winning the Women's and Men's 200m.

Jackson, following her third place finish at the meet in the 100m, was too good for her rivals in the half lap event, after posting 22.38 seconds to get the better of Shashalee Forbes, of Sprintec, who was second in 22.95 seconds, with Jeanine Williams of the University of the West Indies, third in 23.28 seconds.

Jahnoy Thompson clocked a personal best in the Men's equivalent. After a slow start, he caught up with his main rivals, just coming off the curve, then held his form well to score a good win in 20.21 seconds. Nigel Ellis clocked 20.37 seconds for second, as 100m champion, Tyquendo Tracy finished fast for third in 20.51 seconds.

Defending female 100m hurdles champion, Danielle Williams retained her title, but had to work overtime after an average start, as Sprintec Yanique Thompson had a slight lead before Williams found her top form late to win in 12.63 seconds, ahead of Thompson, second in 12.78 seconds, with third going to Jodean Williams, formerly of Immaculate High in 12.94 seconds.

Commonwealth Games champion Ronald Levy captured his second national title after winning the Men's 110m hurdles in a decent 13.16 seconds. Former champion, Hansle Parchment, after a poor start, had to settle for second, in 13.40 seconds, as Andrew Riley was third in 13.53 seconds.